April 20, 2014 |
SAN JOSE -- Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart played in 63 games for the Kings in 2007-08, a rough campaign in which the Kings won 32 games, the final season of Marc Crawford's tenure as coach. But it wasn't altogether forgettable. Staurt remembered goalie Jonathan Quick's NHL debut, a win against Buffalo in December. He also had a first-hand view of an emerging Anze Kopitar, who was then in his second NHL season with the Kings. “He was a really skilled player when I was there,” Stuart said after the Sharks' morning skate on Sunday, hours before Game 2. “But I knew from his character that he was going to take the next step.
April 18, 2014 |
A power outage darkened the SAP Center on Thursday night shortly before the Kings and San Jose Sharks were scheduled to warm up for their playoff opener, leaving the crowd murmuring in confusion and forcing antsy players to wait in corridors illuminated by dim backup lights while they wondered what to do next. About six minutes later the lights came back on and the teams took to the ice. For the Kings, everything went downhill from there. Their 6-3 loss to the Sharks was by far their worst this season.
April 17, 2014 |
SAN JOSE - This was like a nasty flashback, one bad journey into the darkness for Kings fans. The loyal old-timers have scar tissue around the old wound - long ago playoff blowouts, losses to the likes of the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames in the late '80s and early '90s. Undoubtedly, the latest cut will take time to heal. The Kings were thoroughly outplayed in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals as the San Jose Sharks defeated them, 6-3, at the SAP Center on Thursday night.
April 16, 2014 |
Maybe it took going to Sochi for the Winter Olympics and getting out of the grinding day-to-day NHL routine to get a slightly different look at the abilities of goalie Jonathan Quick. After all, Kings captain Dustin Brown has been there through the evolution of Quick's career, starting when Quick was one of seven goalies to play for the Kings in the rough 2007-08 season and hitting the top rung when the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 with Quick as the playoff most valuable player.
April 15, 2014 |
Change or end up in a culvert: NHL style. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was talking recently about the challenges of his profession, the changing nature of hockey, and put as fine a point on it as possible. He has coached 1,039 regular-season games, been in the playoffs 13 times and won the Stanley Cup two years ago with the Kings. From the start - coaching in Chicago to San Jose to Calgary and finally, Los Angeles - Sutter has evolved with the times and the players. "Anybody that has had success over a long time, it's not just the game that's changed," Sutter said.
April 14, 2014 |
One season under the NHL's realigned conference setup probably was enough for Eastern teams to veto future additions from the West. The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets, who moved from the West to the East before this season, won their new conference's two wild-card playoff berths. The Red Wings will make their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance, and the Blue Jackets will make their second appearance in franchise history. First place in the East - and overall - went to the Boston Bruins, with the Ducks winning the No. 1 spot in the West.